Before the era of YouTube videos, Reddit threads, and live video press conferences, there was one campaign staple that was arguably the cornerstone of promoting a political candidate, and that was the campaign button. Since the 1896 McKinley campaign, buttons have been used as an easy, effective and affordable way to support a candidate, and they continue to do so today. Whether you're running a presidential campaign or just hoping to get elected to student government, it can certainly pay to promote your campaign with a button; however, it's important to ensure that your design is effective and well-planned. If you're planning to design a button, read on. We give you 10 tips to ensure that you make a button that is clear and aesthetically pleasing.
1. Short but Memorable Slogan or Text
You probably already have this for your campaign if you're running one, but be sure to include your slogan — or simply your name — on your button design. People who see the button will need to know who or what the button is for. Be sure to keep the slogan short, or use a shortened version on the button, so that people can see all the words clearly.
2. Visible Text Size
In the interest of clarity, make sure that the text size you use for the words on your button is large enough to be seen. It might be tempting to make the text small so that you can fit more words in, but words are pointless if they're not big enough to be seen from a distance.
3. Readable Font
Also, be sure that any text you put on the button is in a legible font. Choose a simple serif or sans serif font, not one that resembles script or handwriting. Fancy fonts can be fun, but they defeat the purpose if they're not readable.
4. Bright, Bold Colors
A campaign button should be eye-catching, and for this reason, it's important to design it in bright colors that pop. Make sure that the text and background are two very different colors so that it's easy to read the words from a distance. Consider using contrasting colors for background and text.
5. Large Enough Button Size
Make sure the button itself is large enough to be noticed. You don't want people to miss it. However, don't go overboard. Nobody wants to wear a button that is embarrassingly big or flashy.
6. Shape that Fits Your Campaign
The traditional campaign button might be a circle, but your button can come in any shape that suits your campaign. Consider making a star button for a little patriotism, or a heart button if running for homecoming court. Unique buttons can draw eyes and make people pay attention to the message of your campaign.
7. Include Your Website Address
If you have a website for your campaign or yourself as a candidate, make sure you include the address on the button. Keep it short and sweet; this way, people will know how to find out more about you after they see your button.
8. Verify Image Quality
If you're going to use a picture of yourself (or any photographic image) on your button, ensure that it's of good enough quality to be seen. Consider enlisting a design expert to make sure that the downsized image doesn't become too pixelated to be seen clearly.
9. Don't Go Overboard
Designing a button can be fun and a great way to get your personality or campaign's message across. However, be sure not to go overboard when it comes to designing the button. Clarity is key when it comes to campaigning, so leave the excess graphics or wingdings behind.
10. Check Out Previous Campaign Buttons
A great way to start designing your campaign button is by looking at other successful campaign buttons from the past. This is a great way to get inspiration for your design and see what worked and what didn't.